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Products Tests, via 3rd-Party

Today, I'm sharing the Product Chapter in Enso's Inner House of Business Framework of my upcoming Little Stone Lion Business book. How Little Stone Lion survives in the extreme conditions.

Testing products rigorously before launching them in the market is crucial for avoiding headaches, reducing service costs, and safeguarding brand reputation in the long run. Product design is not just about incorporating advanced technologies; product reliability plays a significant role in differentiation.

Allow me to share my own story on how testing our products helped us secure top customers.

During Solar Power International, a gentleman approached me with delight, praising the reliability of our inverters. While such compliments were music to my ears, I knew that words alone would not convince top banks and our top customers to invest in our products.

To achieve this, we partnered with a leading 3rd party solar equipment testing lab to conduct rigorous reliability testing. By simulating challenging environments within the controlled settings of the testing environments, we could evaluate the equipment's performance under extreme conditions. Successfully passing these stringent tests would enable reliable operation of our solar inverters in diverse environmental conditions, over the life times of the equipment. We understood that some manufacturers chose to forgo the challenges of rigorous product reliability testing.  Despite the challenges, we pressed forward with determination, committed to delivering the highest quality to our customers.

As a result of our efforts, we became the first inverter brand globally to pass the 3rd party solar inverter reliability testing. More importantly, we significantly enhanced the product reliability by incorporating the findings from these rigorous tests into R&D effort.

Without this rigorous third-party reliability testing, a solar equipment manufacturer would not be considered for Approved Vendor Lists by top banks and top solar companies. In fact, it is advantageous for solar equipment that cannot pass reliability tests to not be installed everywhere. The service costs associated with field failures can skyrocket, reaching as high as $300 to $400 per service trip in a labour-intensive market like the United States.  A manufacturer with high field failure rates would even struggle to survive.

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